Two candidates in a state of darkness… and so the evening went on as Mr Simon Jones and Mr Bobby Corney became brothers at Gordano Lodge, at what was an excellent meeting, ceremony, and festive board.
In the last year Gordano has met the membership challenge head on, having initiated 7 worthy men, but with 6 more waiting to be initiated the lodge decided to support the Pro Grand Master, and the Provincial Grand Masters wishes, and carried out a double initiation. Gordano Lodge has become very open to innovation, having recently hosted a cabaret night featuring “Elvis”, which not only raised £500 for the British Heart Foundation (read the article), but at which 3 people signed up to join the lodge (being the ever prepared secretary he is, Matt Wesley had some forms handy 📧 email@example.com). Being open to try new things, it’s no surprise that the lodge decided to reduce wait time for candidates by carrying out a double initiation, and they plan to ensure that initiates do not have to wait to become master masons, by asking other lodges to assist with passings and raisings.
The Provincial Grand Membership officer, Barrie Palmer, and the Provincial Grand Mentor, David Flack, took time to represent the Province on this occasion. They had the specific intention to gain recent experience of “a double”, so that they can explain how it can be done, what works well, and where to focus time and energy. They were very impressed and said: “Gordano lodge are to be congratulated for producing such a fine ceremony, and for demonstrating that not only can a double initiation be done, it can be done in such a way as to retain a special and individual experience for each candidate“. Barrie and David were delighted to be accompanied by several other active officers, and in particular Chris Hole, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
Years ago double initiations were commonplace, and still are in some lodges in Somerset (please see this letter from the Provincial Secretary, Mike Greedy), and as Gordano have demonstrated that a double initiation can be every bit as enjoyable and individual as a single initiation, it is hoped that this will be seen more and more.
PS: Did you know that so convinced are UGLE that this is the way forward, they are producing guides, including videos, on how best to conduct multiple initiations, passings and raisings.